TS: Depeche Mode vs. New Order vs. Pet Shop Boys

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AKA, pretty much the most impossible ILM poll, ever.

I've always seen these guys as the 3 giants of synth-pop, and forced to choose between the 3, I have no idea which would be my favorite. Which would be my desert-island choice, I suppose, of the 3 bands. Just so many great records by all three of em.

And there are a bunch of angles to really explore here: Overall discography, career arc with high and low points, best songwriting team (as all three are partnerships of sorts), best of the 3 lyrically, best singles artist, best full-album artist, and of course, any personal favorites and/or individual memories and associations to various records. I mean, I could really make a case for all 3 bands on *any* of the points just mentioned.

So, which of the 3 is your favorite? Your desert island pick, so to speak?

Discuss!

Poll Results

OptionVotes
New Order 50
Pet Shop Boys35
Depeche Mode 16


stephen, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:28 (6 years ago) Permalink

And I might mention, I have no idea who's gonna win this one. Pretty much the reason I started the poll.

stephen, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:30 (6 years ago) Permalink

Depeche

Curt1s Stephens, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:37 (6 years ago) Permalink

easiest poll ever! new order.

69, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:38 (6 years ago) Permalink

Tough call between New Order and Depeche Mode. PSB are awesome for about 20 minutes at a time, and then I want to wipe the slate with Slayer or something equally abrasive...so they're out.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:44 (6 years ago) Permalink

They are indeed.

Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

New Order = greatest band of all-time. Next.

Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

any PSB voters in da haus?

stephen, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:52 (6 years ago) Permalink

I love PSB, they're really great. But I kinda think I'd trade all of my PSB albums for just one of New Order's best songs. "Temptation," "Ceremony" (yea I know it's a JD tune but NO's version is better), say, or "Age of Consent" >>>>>>>>>>>>> PSB's entire discography.

Mark Clemente, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:58 (6 years ago) Permalink

Adore the PSB, but, god, it's New Order.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:59 (6 years ago) Permalink

I love PSB, they're really great. But I kinda think I'd trade all of my PSB albums for just one of New Order's best songs.

I think this really sums it up.

da croupier, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 20:59 (6 years ago) Permalink

"Master and Servant" vs "1963" vs "Rent"

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:01 (6 years ago) Permalink

but, Neil Tennant's lyrics >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Bernard Sumner's lyrics

Mark Clemente, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:01 (6 years ago) Permalink

New Order: music
Depeche Mode: lyrics
Pet Shop Boys: intangible pop savvy

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:03 (6 years ago) Permalink

The real question is who's a better non-singer: Tennant or Sumner.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:04 (6 years ago) Permalink

Depeche Mode: best albums
New Order: best singles
Pet Shop Boys: best lyrics

stephen, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:05 (6 years ago) Permalink

That problem is solved by buying Electronic albums. xpost

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:06 (6 years ago) Permalink

ooof.

da croupier, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:06 (6 years ago) Permalink

New Order: best singles

Except Technique is the best album by any band in this discussion.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:07 (6 years ago) Permalink

Tennant sings so much better than Sumner it isn't even funny.

HI DERE, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:09 (6 years ago) Permalink

True. I may love that first Electronic album more than any NO, and I wish there were most songs like "The Patience of a Saint" in the NO catalogue.

(xxxpost)

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:09 (6 years ago) Permalink

Tennant sings so much better than Sumner it isn't even funny.
-- HI DERE, Tuesday, October 30, 2007 4:09 PM (8 minutes ago) Bookmark Link

OTM

stephen, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:20 (6 years ago) Permalink

Pet Shop Boys by a long way, their B-sides album is better than all but three of New Order's albums.

Billy Dods, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:21 (6 years ago) Permalink

depeche doesn't even enter into this for me and even on the strength of singles, i think i'd go for PSB

impudent harlot, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:42 (6 years ago) Permalink

Definitely vote for Pet Shop Boys, because out of these three they're the least rock, most pop, and most gay.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:49 (6 years ago) Permalink

Most fun also.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:49 (6 years ago) Permalink

I've liked some of the early more poppy Depeche Mode I've heard, but at some point they seemed to have turned into a goth band. And New Order obviously were a goth band already before becoming New Order.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 21:51 (6 years ago) Permalink

...what's wrong with turning into a goth band, Tuomas?

;__________;

stephen, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 22:34 (6 years ago) Permalink

easiest poll ever! new order

yep.

i love DM and the PSBs, don't get me wrong. but really. come on.

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 22:39 (6 years ago) Permalink

Depeche Mode will probably get the fewest votes. Which is a shame because they are the best out of these three, really.

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 23:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

The worst, really. But still a damn fine outfit.

Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 23:54 (6 years ago) Permalink

I'd rather the opposite. Depeche Mode are obviously the best, but Pet Shop Boys are also a damn fine outfit and nothing wrong about New Order either.

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 23:58 (6 years ago) Permalink

HI DERE OTM. Tuomas' comments make me a bit surprised that the PSB are the only one I would even say I like. (DM have some good moments.)

Sundar, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

I really like "Always On My Mind," "Flamboyant," and "Suburbia." Is there an album worth checking out? (I don't care for the "Go West" cover.)

Sundar, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:54 (6 years ago) Permalink

Try, in this order, Discography, Actually, Very, Alternative, Please, Behaviour, Introspective.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:59 (6 years ago) Permalink

Hmm. Try Actually, based on those choices.

Ha, x-post! I would have said Discography first too but I figured, "Well, if he wants an actual album..."

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 01:00 (6 years ago) Permalink

The Actually singles sound good (except for "What Have I Done...," ha.)

Sundar, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 01:36 (6 years ago) Permalink

"What Have I Done" sounds bad to you???

Kevin John Bozelka, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 01:40 (6 years ago) Permalink

Behaviour, Introspective.

Soto, does this mean you prefer the former to the latter? Or is that just how you'd lay it out for a newbie?

Kevin John Bozelka, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 01:41 (6 years ago) Permalink

Both! My first purchase as a newbie was Behaviour in early '91, and it's my favourite, but maybe not the first I'd burn for a newbie in 2007.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 01:49 (6 years ago) Permalink

Introspective remains the worst PSB album, I'd even rank "Release" as better.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 02:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

Regardless of my commentary about vocal prowess, I would rank these as:

Depeche Mode
PSB, New Order (tie)

HI DERE, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 02:34 (6 years ago) Permalink

My first purchase as a newbie was Behaviour in early '91, and it's my favourite,

Wait a minute, wait a minute. Behaviour is your fave PSB album...ever?

Kevin John Bozelka, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 03:28 (6 years ago) Permalink

The absence and subsequent shittiness of New Order in the 90s-now makes them not much of a contender overall. Between DM and PSB, tough call. Allright it's Mode for their ability to be so utterly bleak.

Siegbran, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 04:39 (6 years ago) Permalink

pet shop boys are some bleak dudes too. i would rank it psb>new order>>>>>>>>>>depeche

omar little, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 04:50 (6 years ago) Permalink

I love New Order but I don't really consider them as great a pop band as DM or PSB. They're a better band overall than PSB, but they don't do pop as well as the Boys. Depeche Mode are miles above either. (nb I stop listening to all of them after about 1989.)

Curt1s Stephens, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 04:50 (6 years ago) Permalink

when u were 3?

max, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 04:51 (6 years ago) Permalink

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i get it

max, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 04:51 (6 years ago) Permalink

you should get 'very', dude

omar little, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 04:52 (6 years ago) Permalink

depeche mode's post-89 output is pretty great too!!! songs of faith and devotion! "precious"! etc

max, Wednesday, 31 October 2007 04:54 (6 years ago) Permalink

I've always seen these guys as the 3 giants of synth-pop

only just noticed this wtfness.

That one guy that hit it and quit it, Monday, 5 November 2007 13:07 (6 years ago) Permalink

They bestride the land, like colossi of the Roland.

Neil S, Monday, 5 November 2007 13:13 (6 years ago) Permalink

"(also: much roffling at "questionable music". what, is everything that isn't pure DM "degenerate art" or something?)"

i mean, DM are definitely one of my favorite artists, i own more records by them than by any other artist except theo parrish, "violator" is one of my all time favorite albums and has been for many many years. but i dont hold them as anything more than fantastic musicians. New Order are definitely awesome too. but really, the Pet Shop Boys? come on, now. they were not bad but they shouldnt even be in a discussion with depeche mode.

pipecock, Monday, 5 November 2007 16:50 (6 years ago) Permalink

Why not?

Neil S, Monday, 5 November 2007 16:52 (6 years ago) Permalink

any winner in this poll is the right winner

Curt1s Stephens, Monday, 5 November 2007 16:53 (6 years ago) Permalink

xpost to pipecock: guess what? i disagree. and hey, they are, and have been for several hundred posts.

next up: a discussion involving depeche mode, dumpy's rusty nuts and dom's spunk, spread on a boot. because, hey, that's the joy of ILM, as opposed to -- say -- monomaniacal DM fans' private DM-only DM discussion board (DM).

grimly fiendish, Monday, 5 November 2007 16:53 (6 years ago) Permalink

grimly otm. Just because you disagree with the poll results, you shouldn't start saying "the poll is illegitimate".

Neil S, Monday, 5 November 2007 16:55 (6 years ago) Permalink

sorry, i don't see what's so WTF about calling new order a synth pop band. a lot of their music (sure, not all), even their best known stuff, could be described that way

Mark Clemente, Monday, 5 November 2007 17:02 (6 years ago) Permalink

xposts

Mark Clemente, Monday, 5 November 2007 17:02 (6 years ago) Permalink

yep, it was a generalization guys; sorry to get yr panties in a wad

stephen, Monday, 5 November 2007 17:05 (6 years ago) Permalink

any winner in this poll is the right winner

This is completely correct. The only thing I dislike about this poll is the outright/implied hatred expressed towards Depeche Mode. I understand why some people want to leave their mopey teen years behind but DM expresses so much of that angst so well and in a manner far more adult than it should be expressed that I don't understand how people don't enjoy them. (I also don't understand how people can hate the singing, especially from Violator onwards, but that's a completely different thing.)

HI DERE, Monday, 5 November 2007 17:13 (6 years ago) Permalink

"xpost to pipecock: guess what? i disagree. and hey, they are, and have been for several hundred posts.

next up: a discussion involving depeche mode, dumpy's rusty nuts and dom's spunk, spread on a boot. because, hey, that's the joy of ILM, as opposed to -- say -- monomaniacal DM fans' private DM-only DM discussion board (DM)."

again, i do not put DM up on a pedestal or anything like that. but comparing them to PSB is like comparing John Coltrane to Kenny G. sure theyre both jazz sax players, but to compare them in any way is pretty stupid.

pipecock, Monday, 5 November 2007 20:12 (6 years ago) Permalink

so which one is Kenny G, o enlightened one?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Monday, 5 November 2007 20:16 (6 years ago) Permalink

but to compare them in any way is pretty stupid

i) ever heard of objectivity?

ii) ever heard of criticism?

iii) ever heard of internet message boards?

iv) ever thought that calling everyone else "stupid" repeatedly might make you look ... well, you can work it out for yourself?

grimly fiendish, Monday, 5 November 2007 20:39 (6 years ago) Permalink

pipecock: He's not a pipe.

HI DERE, Monday, 5 November 2007 20:40 (6 years ago) Permalink

dan OTM!!! i cant figure out why you all hate depeche mode... and i got into these guys at age 21, just last year, so its not as though i love em for the "mope"--theyre just really fucking terrific songwriters

max, Monday, 5 November 2007 20:42 (6 years ago) Permalink

i actually don't think there's very much mode hate here at all, is there?

grimly fiendish, Monday, 5 November 2007 20:44 (6 years ago) Permalink

i don't hate them, i just lose interest in everything they did past a certain point. likewise new order and pet shop boys!

impudent harlot, Monday, 5 November 2007 20:57 (6 years ago) Permalink

"so which one is Kenny G, o enlightened one?

-- Alfred, Lord Sotosyn"

come on now, surely you can tell by my posts....

"i) ever heard of objectivity?

ii) ever heard of criticism?

iii) ever heard of internet message boards?

iv) ever thought that calling everyone else "stupid" repeatedly might make you look ... well, you can work it out for yourself?

-- grimly fiendish"

i am not concerned with how i look to people. i truly dont give a fuck what you think about me. anyway, as i was saying, you can compare things all you want, but it doesnt make the comparison make any real sense. what really are the similarities between the PSB and DM? they both used synths and were around in the early 80s and were british. what else? i can think of so much music that fits into those categories, does that mean it all should be compared? in feeling and in quality, DM and PSB are not peers. one is a joke, one is not.

pipecock, Monday, 5 November 2007 23:39 (6 years ago) Permalink

right, i give up. you clearly have the cognitive skills of a whelk.

grimly fiendish, Monday, 5 November 2007 23:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

I love Depeche Mode but I kind of hate Depeche Mode fans.

HI DERE, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 03:43 (6 years ago) Permalink

i love music but i kind of hate music fans.

stephen, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 03:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

"right, i give up. you clearly have the cognitive skills of a whelk.

-- grimly fiendish"

youre so superior to me beacuse you use $.50 words. congratulations, dood! you rule! have fun listening to the pet shop boys.

pipecock, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 04:50 (6 years ago) Permalink

Tears For Fears >>>>>> Depeche Mode

oops.

Tape Store, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 04:54 (6 years ago) Permalink

Is pipecock 15-years-old?

JN$OT, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 09:17 (6 years ago) Permalink

Probably 45.

HI DERE, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 13:55 (6 years ago) Permalink

And very very lonely.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 14:55 (6 years ago) Permalink

Sundar, you don't like New Order? wow... it's like i don't even know you!

i missed voting, but it would have been DM, NO, almost neck and neck for a while, but at the end, DM takes it easily when i think about which has affected me most. PSB distant 3rd. if the Cure had been in this poll also, they would have been riding right on NO's ass.

Kim, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:38 (6 years ago) Permalink

Just to annoy the goth even more, I venture that:

New Order > PSB > Human League > Depeche Mode

Matt DC, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:44 (6 years ago) Permalink

That's how I'd order those bands, FWIW.

Neil S, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:45 (6 years ago) Permalink

I guess Erasure could have been another option, but they'd probably have come a distant fourth.

xpost bah pshaw. Human League don't have the career longevity.

ledge, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:45 (6 years ago) Permalink

we need a similar poll involving the cure.

xpost: which version of the human league?

NO > DM > dare-era human league > PSBs > human league post-dare

human league mk I >>> almost everything else in the world. new order being one of the exceptions, mind.

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:47 (6 years ago) Permalink

(i know, i know: we didn't break down NO or DM into versions either. but with the HL there's a spectacular and staggering divide, along the lines of JD/NO, so i think it's valid.)

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

(in fact: dare-era HL are more different to pre-dare HL than JD are to early NO.)

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:48 (6 years ago) Permalink

(i'll stop now.)

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:49 (6 years ago) Permalink

(A likely story!)

HI DERE, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:51 (6 years ago) Permalink

I love New Order, PSB, Depeche Mode, Human League, and Erasure and I don't care how you order them.

Curt1s Stephens, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:57 (6 years ago) Permalink

I thought we'd established that liking Depeche Mode is an American thing?

Tom D., Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:58 (6 years ago) Permalink

Or non-British at any rate

Tom D., Tuesday, 6 November 2007 16:59 (6 years ago) Permalink

no, we hadn't. because it isn't.

that said: it is less "cool" to like DM in the UK than it is ... well, almost anywhere else. funny ... i was pondering this (no, really) in the gym this morning, listening to "playing the angel". i read somewhere, ages ago, that the reason for this was martin gore looking like such a knobber in his leather vest etc, but i can't believe this is the case.

hey ho. i've always loved 'em. in 1991 i had a massive poster of them (circa some great reward) on my bedroom wall. my friend shumon, probably the coolest man i've ever known, always thought they were cool. so i've been out and proud about them for years ;)

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 17:26 (6 years ago) Permalink

that said: it is less "cool" to like DM in the UK than it is ... well, almost anywhere else.

That's exactly what I mean. I think a lot of people in the UK thought they (Depeche Mode that is) were trying far too hard to come over all rawwwwwwwwwwwwwk 'n' roll with the leather trousers and the heroin and the whatnot when they stil considered them a nancyboy plinky-plonky synth band

Tom D., Tuesday, 6 November 2007 17:31 (6 years ago) Permalink

A lot of people in the UK have cloth in their ears.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 17:32 (6 years ago) Permalink

Depeche Mode were at their best as a nancyboy plinky-plonky synth band. Fantastic!

Curt1s Stephens, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 17:37 (6 years ago) Permalink

Nancyboy plinky-plonky synth bands have always been more popular in the UK than leather-trousering smacked-up pseudo-rockers

Tom D., Tuesday, 6 November 2007 17:39 (6 years ago) Permalink

actually, you've cracked it: it's the KNOW YOUR PLACE mentality, innit?

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 17:41 (6 years ago) Permalink

A bit... also that wearing leather trousers and trying to be Jim Morrison was crap even when Jim Morrison did it

Tom D., Tuesday, 6 November 2007 17:44 (6 years ago) Permalink

thing is, when i'd left school and was working for the DSS, i had hair, beard and leather trousers exactly like SOFAD-era dave gahan. i never got round to the tattoos, although i keep thinking about fixing that ;)

grimly fiendish, Tuesday, 6 November 2007 18:22 (6 years ago) Permalink

"Is pipecock 15-years-old?

-- JN$OT"

"Probably 45.

-- HI DERE"

if you average your two guesses, youd be pretty close.

"And very very lonely.

-- Ned Raggett"

it certainly depends on your definition of lonely. being married and having a kid and a cat could be lonely i guess, but not for me.

pipecock, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 00:11 (6 years ago) Permalink

What's wrong with a nancyboy plinky-plonky synthband?

I mean, the same question should be applied to DM members themselves (AND Flood!!!!!!) in 1993 too, but, still....

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 01:17 (6 years ago) Permalink

NEW ORDER!!! Depeche Mode second, but only if you stop before late 80s.

Pookas, Wednesday, 7 November 2007 01:53 (6 years ago) Permalink


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